New Zealand is known for its scenic beauty rather than its bird life. On a recent trip we came across two birds which are unique to New Zealand (apart from a Kiwi which we didn’t see). Above is the Weka, a woodhen, endemic to the South Island. It belongs to the Rail family of birds and are on the vulnerable list. These inquisitive, omnivorous birds came to check out what was going on, when we were gutting our fish and scallop catch, with the hope of getting an easy feed.
The second bird that was new to us was the Kea. It is also endemic to the South Island of New Zealand and is the world’s only alpine parrot. It is spectacular in flight as the underneath of its wings is a brilliant orange and it is also omnivorous. Although it eats road kill its preferred diet is nuts, berries and roots. Being blamed for killing sheep, erroneously, the bird was killed for bounty until it received protection in 1986. It is now classified as an endangered species. Kea are apparently an intelligent bird which can solve logical problems and puzzles and work together as a team for a common goal. It demonstrated its curiosity and intelligence on our second encounter with it as we travelled to Milford Sound.
It travelled some distance on our rear vision mirror. We were travelling quite slowly due to the conditions. It knew when to leave us, flying off just before we entered the tunnel.
Okay – I had to show a bit of scenery.